Kickstarter Report: Top Crowdfunded Tech Projects in North Carolina
The top Kickstarter-backed North Carolina technology projects in 2014 tilted toward consumer convenience. Tired of fumbling with how to plug in the charging cord for your electronic devices? A company called BelayCords developed a cord that solves that problem. Want to keep beverages hot or find an easier way to channel-surf television channels? Those are other consumer problems entrepreneurs addressed.
But consumer convenience represents only some of the tech-oriented crowdfunded projects that won over backers. Outrider USA, for example, raised funds to manufacture an electronic all-terrain tricycle intended for those who have disabilities.
As part of Xconomy’s national series on crowdfunding trends, here’s a look at North Carolina’s top-funded tech Kickstarter projects in 2014.
1. BelayCords, based in Chapel Hill, NC, blew away its $4,000 goal by raising $423,564 from 7,934 backers in November. USB plugs are great, but they’re configured to plug in only one way. BelayCords has developed a USB charging cord for Android and Apple devices that is reversible—it plugs into a USB port regardless of the plug’s orientation. Besides having a reversible plug, the BelayCords charging cords themselves are made with a durable-fabric exterior that keeps the cords from tangling.
2. Temperfect Mug, in Wake Forest, NC, with a $23,500 goal, raised $269,271 in January 2014 from 4,903 backers. The Temperfect Mug takes excess heat from a too-hot beverage and uses insulation to store that heat in the wall of the mug, to be used later to keep the beverage at a suitably hot temperature. The company says it can keep a beverage hot for hours. Temperfect expects to start shipping its mugs in the first half of 2015, taking orders through its website.
3. Mohu Channels, with a $35,000 goal, raised $144,890 from 1,284 backers in April. The Raleigh, NC, company applied the funds toward production of its system that puts all television viewing options—over-the-air HDTV channels and Internet video—in a single, on-screen channel guide. Mohu had previously developed and commercialized the Mohu Leaf, an HDTV antenna.
4. Horizon, with a $100,000 goal, raised $126,231 from 246 backers in April for an electric, all-terrain vehicle intended for use by those with disabilities. The Horizon trike was developed by Asheville, NC, company Outrider USA. One of the trike’s developers, Christopher Wenner, is himself a quadriplegic, as a result of a neck injury.
5. SmartCharge, with a $50,000 goal, raised $91,804 from 984 backers in January 2014. Based in Charlotte, NC, SmartCharge developed an LED lightbulb that also has a battery, enabling the bulb to continue operating during a power outage. SmartCharge says the technology of its smart bulbs allows them to respond to the wall switches in a home even when the home has no power.
6. Other World Mapper. The Wilmington, NC, developer of map-design software set a goal of $8,750 and raised $26,823 from 724 backers in November. Other World Mapper gives role-playing gamers, authors, and developers a way to create detailed fantasy maps.
7. DuinoKit Essentials, with a $15,300 goal, raised $26,051 from 154 backers. Based in Asheville, NC, DuinoKit developed a toolkit for learning and experimenting with electronics and microprocessors based on the Arduino open-source electronics platform.
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